Coronavirus and Spinal Cord Injuries

As the nation and the rest of the world fight Coronavirus (COVID-19) trying to slow it’s spread an minimize its impact on those at greatest risk there are additional precautions the Spinal Cord Injury community can take. News on this subject has been rapidly evolving and while we will continue to be available for family or individual consultations regarding recovery and other topics, we urge you to first and foremost, continue listening to local, state, and national government authorities. By staying informed on your local policies, you will be better prepared for closings or other changes to daily life which are now a certainty.

While the Coronavirus has caused serious complications and even death in younger seemingly healthy individuals, most experts agree those with pre-existing conditions are at the highest risk. This includes spinal cord injuries and particularly individuals with respiratory disease. Understanding that you or a loved one may be at higher risk is just the start.

Terms like “social distancing” and “self-quarantine” may seem unnerving but they are critical to protecting yourself and others. For those with a spinal cord injury these precautions are important for not only the individual but family, caretakers, and others they may come into close contact with. If you have a caregiver we hope you have already had a conversation about their own personal habits and how to minimize the risk of transmitting Coronavirus to you or your family. We know the virus is contagious even before symptoms, so it won’t be enough to look out for a sick caretaker. Ensuring your caretaker washes their hands before touching you, and refrains from sneezing or coughing while taking care of you are a couple things to consider. This is also the time to ensure your back up caretaker is on standby or you have some other plan in place in the event your caretaker is sick or the agency cuts hours.

We hope you have prepared for an emergency like this before and now it is just a matter of executing your own plan. But if you have not, the time to act is now, think about how you will survive for an extended period with minimal contact with others and take action. If you need help, this is the time to ask for it, be prepared not only for yourself but for your family and those that care about you.

Just as every injury and recovery is different so to will be all our responses to the Coronavirus, but if you are prepared and stay informed you will provide yourself and your family the best opportunity to stay safe. With that in mind we recommend you follow the following sources for more detailed and updated information:


The Shepherd Center

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Harvard Medical School

Topics: Spinal Cord Injuries, Spinal Cord, coronavirus

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